March 10, 2012

Neglected Portland Breweries: Max's Fanno Creek

Portland has some 40 breweries and counting. Many are world-class, even out-of-this-world. Many ain't.

Sometimes I beat myself up for not having been to every single brewery in town (or in the outskirts). I'd like to visit them all. I intend to. But I guess if I'm being honest, the ones I haven't checked out yet are the ones that simply have no Beer Geek Brownie Points. So here's Pt. III of an ongoing series: Neglected Portland (area) breweries.

Half Pint, I.P.Yae, Dunkel and I found ourselves running errands around Tigard (it happens), so I seized the opportunity to check out a brewpub no one from Portland really makes the effort to head out there for. Max's Fanno Creek Brew Pub basically is a big ol' family-style pizzeria/sports bar, but with a shiny brewhouse in the front and visible through windows to the right of the entrance. Will you ever see Max there brewing or gladhanding regulars? Evidently not. But while there's no Max, there is a Fanno Creek, which runs to the left of the pub as you're facing it.

Having arrived on a rainy, winter night, the plentiful picnic tables out front weren't asappealing as they'd be on a long, warm, summer eve. Promptly after being seated in the back, our server kindly brought the following flight of six beers (out of nine):
  • IPA: Seems like a British IPA down to the use of English hops. Dry and grassy but I wanted some citrus.
  • Pagan Pale: Medium-bodied, balanced, I enjoyed more than the IPA.
  • Dry-hopped Red: Savory and makes me think I could actually like a Red. Great companion to pub grub.
  • Reverend's Daughter Belgian: Fantastic spice. Wouldn't fool anyone, but would appeal to fans of Orval and De Ranke XX Bitter.
  • Vanilla Porter: Sweet, creamy, would be good for a float.
  • Raspberry Stout: Umm... syrupy.

To eat, we shared a pizza and a salad. It was just OK. But now that we have a kid, if we lived in the area, I'm sure it'd be in our regular rotation. Between the pale, the red, and the Belgian pale--and I've reason to suspect at least two of the other three plus which I know include an imperial IPA, plus constant seasonals--I could be quite happy supporting my local brewery.

On our way out, I noticed the selection of T-shirts. They were basic almost to the point of boring, but good colors and only $3. I shoulda bought one. That's basically a free brewery shirt minus three bucks. Why don't more breweries realize how brilliant it is to sell swag on the cheap since you're essentially a walking billboard for them? In lieu of that, I'll blog about them.


Brewmance said...

I enjoy this series! It is actually motivating me to get out and try these spots.. some I haven't even heard of. Kind of sad since I have been here all my life. Cheers!

Brian Yaeger said...

Thanks, Perry. Crazy how many subjects there are for this series! Next up: Broadway Grill & Brewery since we just ate there. If you visit such a neglected brewery as a a result of this motivation, by all means, you're welcome to contribute a review as a guest blogger!